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Home Equity HELOCs

Best Credit Unions Offering HELOCs

A home equity line of credit is a flexible way to access your home equity. Equity is the difference between your home’s current fair market value and what’s remaining on the mortgage. A HELOC works like a credit card, converting a portion of your equity into a credit line you can pull from as needed.

Many financial institutions, including credit unions, offer HELOCs. If you’re considering a credit union HELOC, we’ve rounded up the top ones below, including eligibility requirements, rates, and fees. Use this guide to find the best credit union HELOC for your household.

Best credit unions for HELOCs

Credit unionBest forBiggest benefit
Bethpage FCUBest overallConvert variable-rate balances to fixed-rate loan options
Navy FederalBest for the military20-year draw period
PenFedCredit lines up to $1 million
AlliantIntro rate lasts for three years
United FCUNo fees or closing costs

Bethpage Federal Credit Union HELOC

Best overall

  • Lock some or all of your HELOC to a fixed-rate loan at no additional cost3
  • Make interest-only payments during your draw period (the first 10 years)
  • No closing costs or origination fees2

Bethpage Federal Credit Union is in Long Island with 30 New York-area locations and more than 30,000 ATMs nationwide through the CO-OP ATM Network. Its services include banking, saving, investing, lending, credit counseling, and insurance.

What makes it stand out among others for HELOCs?

Bethpage charges no closing costs or application, origination, or appraisal fees on its HELOCs.2 Whereas many HELOCs come with variable interest rates, Bethpage offers fixed-rate loan options at the time of funding.

Check out our review of Bethpage HELOCs for more information.

Best for military members

  • An excellent option for U.S. military members and their families
  • Borrow up to 95% of your home’s equity
  • No application, origination, or inactivity fees

Navy Federal is a national credit union that serves U.S. military members, veterans, Department of Defense employees, and their families. Its 350 locations offer checking, savings, lending, and business services. 

What makes it stand out among others for HELOCs?

Navy Federal’s HELOCs are unique for their 20-year draw periods, which are twice as long as other options on our list. You can also borrow up to 95% of your home’s value (minus your existing mortgage balance).

PenFed Credit Union HELOC

  • Take out a line of credit up to $1 million
  • Ability to switch from a variable to a fixed rate on all or some of your interest payments
  • Must have a credit score of 700 or above

PenFed—Pentagon Federal Credit Union—offers checking, savings, investment, credit card, and loan accounts. The company has locations across the nation and at several military bases worldwide.

What makes it stand out among others for HELOCs?

PenFed stands out for its high HELOC limits ($1 million, the highest on our list). It also allows borrowers to switch to a fixed interest rate on some or all their interest payments.

Check out our review of PenFed HELOCs for more.

Alliant Credit Union HELOC

  • Borrow up to 90% of the value of your home
  • No closing costs or appraisal fees
  • An online application can be completed in minutes

Alliant Credit Union is a national digital bank. It offers banking, lending, investing, and insurance services.  

What makes it stand out among others for HELOCs?

Alliant’s HELOC is unique for its introductory rates, which sometimes last up to three years. The credit union also charges no closing costs or appraisal fees on credit lines up to $250,000.

United Federal Credit Union HELOC

  • Offers a six-month intro rate
  • Borrow as little as $10,000
  • No closing costs or origination fees

United Federal Credit Union offers banking, loans, credit cards, investing, insurance, and business services. It has locations across Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio.

What makes it stand out among others for HELOCs?

A United FCU HELOC comes with a low introductory APR for approved borrowers. Its current intro rate of 2.99% for the first six months is the lowest on our list. (The second-lowest is 6.5%.) It also has no fees or closing costs and allows for an LTV as high as 90%, the second-highest of all credit unions on our list.

Can you get a HELOC from any credit union?

Not every credit union offers HELOCs, but credit unions that provide mortgages and home equity loans often offer home equity lines of credit. 

In most cases, you will need to become a credit union member before you can take out a HELOC with that institution. This often involves a nominal fee or opening a checking or savings account with a small minimum balance.


Online lender with fixed-rate HELOCs

  • Checking your rate doesn’t impact your credit
  • Borrow up to $400,000
  • Funds can be ready in as few as five days

Why are some lenders no longer offering HELOCs?

Financial institutions may offer HELOCs and then pause these programs when larger economic conditions change. 

For example, job losses may be more common in a recession, increasing the likelihood that borrowers default on their HELOCs. When this happens, a credit union might temporarily cease offering HELOCs.

While we couldn’t find any credit unions that have discontinued their HELOC programs recently, certain notable banks have, including Wells Fargo

Why do some credit unions only offer variable interest rates on a HELOC?

Most HELOCs come with a variable interest rate. This means it changes based on the benchmark rate it’s tied to (usually the prime rate published by The Wall Street Journal). When your rate changes, so does your payment, which can make budgeting a challenge.

If you get a HELOC with a variable rate, it’s essential to understand the fine print of your loan—including how high your rate can get throughout your loan term. A healthy emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses is wise. You’ll want to ensure you always have the cash for your payment, even if it rises.

Certain credit unions offer fixed-rate HELOC options or will let you convert some or all of your balance into a fixed-rate loan later. With these, you’ll enjoy peace of mind with a consistent interest rate and payment for the remainder of your term.

If you’re interested in a fixed-rate HELOC, shop around and compare lenders, as not all credit unions offer this option. Check out our list of the best fixed-rate HELOCs.

How do credit unions determine my line of credit?

To determine how much it will loan you, a credit union will first consider LTV.

As you can see above, the maximum you can get from a credit union HELOC is 95% of your home’s value, meaning your HELOC plus your mortgage balance can’t surpass more than 95% of your home’s value. 

Here’s how to determine what a 95% LTV looks like: 

  • Home value: $500,000
  • Current mortgage balance: $300,000
  • Maximum HELOC amount: $500,000 x 0.95 – $300,000 = $175,000

In the above example, you could borrow up to $175,000 using a credit union HELOC. When setting your loan amount, your credit union will also consider your credit score, payment history, and overall risk as a borrower.

Remember: Rates and qualifying standards can vary by institution, so if you’re considering a credit union HELOC, compare options before moving forward. This will ensure you get the best deal for your needs.